Stars: Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Common, Dominique McEligott, Tom Noonan, Eddie Spears
Premiere date: August 12

Patience, and a heavy deal of faith in AMC’s programming capabilities, led us to stick with Hell on Wheels last year, during its premiere season, even though the 1860s-set western drama started off slower than a derailed caboose. But as the vengeance plot of steely Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) progressed, and the violence got rawer by the hour, Hell on Wheels gradually proved its worth.

Now, we’re ready to see if series creators Joe and Tony Gayton have what it takes to not go the way of The Killing, AMC’s once-invigorating show that’s devolved into a frustrating mess. There’s also the intrigue surrounding the performance of Common, whose gritty and emotionally vibrant performance as a defiant former slave was a revelation last season. —M.B.

Will the Resurrection MC maintain his on-screen distinction? And will Hell on Wheels, as a whole, justify its placement alongside Breaking Bad, and, come October, The Walking Dead? Just keep the Gayton siblings away from Veena Sud and we should be in good shape?

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